Ohauiti Reserve runs parallel to and partly alongside Ohauiti Road between McFetridge Lane and Rowesdale Drive. A number of walking tracks run through and across the reserve, with areas of bush, wetlands, open grassland, and flood plains. The reserve tracks are included in the brochure Tauranga Walkways and Cycleways, available for download from the Tauranga City Council web site.
The brochure does not mention the locations of the various access points, or where parking can be found near the reserve. A small parking area is available on McFetridge Lane, with only on-street parking available near the other access points. There are no toilets in the reserve or nearby. Continue reading
Walkways and cycleways run through stormwater drainage reserves between Parton Road the Pacific View Road in Papamoa. They cross various streets along the way, and there are side tracks leading to streets adjacent to the reserves. This walk was done starting at Parton Rd, through the reserves to Domain Rd, along Domain Rd to Papamoa Domain, along the sand dunes through Papamoa Beach Reserve (or Papamoa Coastal Reserve), and back to Parton Rd. A total distance of about 7.7 km.
Tauranga City Council publishes a small brochure, Tauranga Walkways and Cycleways, with descriptions of various walking and cycling tracks within the city. A previous version of this brochure contained the loop walk described here, whereas the current (undated) brochure describes only the part through the drainage reserves.
The TECT All Terrain Park is located about halfway between Tauranga and Rotorua, straddling SH36, and accessible from Whataroa Road. It is divided into two main zones, with various activities in each zone. The motorsports zone is located to the east of SH36, and the activity zone, off Weld Road, to the west of SH36. The park covers 1650 hectares of pine and native forest, with parts of the pine forest being clear felled at various times. Information about the park is found on the TECT All Terrain Park web site, including panoramic aerial photos of the park, maps, and details of activities.
There is a single dedicated hiking trail in the park, the Te Rerenga Tunnel Track, a loop track which starts and ends at the park entrance, where there is a parking area and toilet facilities. The track is about 3.2 km long, and is mostly an easy walk. Near the tunnel under SH36 there are steeper sections with steps on steeper parts and bridges across small streams. A torch is highly recommended for passing through the 36 meter long tunnel.
McLaren Falls Park is accessible from McLaren Falls Road, which branches off State Highway 29 about 19 km south-west of Tauranga. There are numerous walking tracks within the boundaries of the park, with most of them providing easy walks on well-formed and wide tracks. The Lakeside Walkway runs almost the full length of the eastern side of Lake McLaren, from the road entry off McLaren Falls Road almost to the access road to the Lower Mangapapa power station. The Waterfall Track branches off the Lakeside Walkway, crosses over the road and then loops alongside a stream on the way to and from the small waterfall.
McLaren Falls Park is accessible from McLaren Falls Road, which branches off State Highway 29 about 19 km south-west of Tauranga. There are numerous walking tracks within the boundaries of the park, with most of them providing easy walks on well-formed and wide tracks. The southernmost track and also the steepest is the Rimu Track, also known as Rimu-Totara Track, which is directly accessible from the road through the park, by the junction with a short road past a substation to Lake Mangapapa. The side road has a closed gate, with public access for walkers only.
The Rimu Track is short, but quite steep in places, and with numerous steps. It climbs from the road junction through a valley to a plateau with an easy loop track, and a side track down past 3 large rimu trees (The 3 Sisters) to the road leading to Lake Mangapapa. The road can then be followed back to the junction, or a side road and track can be taken back up to the Rimu Track.
Ruahihi Canal was constructed in the late 1970s and early 1980s to lead water from Lake McLaren and the Wairoa River to the Ruahihi Power Station adjacent to SH29. The canal is about 2.5 km long, with water then being fed into penstocks for the final part of the journey to the power station. The penstocks are mainly underground, but the single penstock pipe can be followed from the end of the canal as far as Gunga Lane and Ruahihi Road. At some point the single pipe is split into the two which can be seen alongside SH29, across the road from the power station.
On most days the Wairoa River from McLaren Falls to the power station is only a trickle, but on some weekends the control gates are opened and the river returns to a normal level during the day. The river is popular for white water rafting.
Several historical sites are easily accessible in the Tauranga City Centre, and a loop walk around the city can include those sites as well as other points of interest. A booklet published by Tauranga City Council previously described the walk as “Tauranga / Historical Inner City”. In later editions, as well as the online edition, it does not show the loop walk, and calls it Tauranga/CBD.
The historical sites are The Elms Mission house in Mission Street, Mission Cemetery, Monmouth Redoubt, Te Awanui Waka, and Wharepai Domain. Other points of interest include the Rose Gardens, Robbins Park, The Strand reclamation, and the Hairy Maclary sculptures.
Waikareao Estuary Walkway consists of walking and cycling tracks and boardwalks around the estuary close to central Tauranga and Otumoetai. It is accessible from several locations, and several side tracks lead to and from the walkway. On the western side of the estuary the walkway passes over mangrove tidal zones, and through parks and reserves. On the eastern side the walkway follows alongside Takitimu Drive, with the option of crossing over the busy road to more peaceful and green areas on the other side.
This walk was done in an anti-clockwise direction, starting and ending at the carpark on Maxwells Road, near Chapel Street, and following the track on the western side of Takitimu Drive between Waihi Road and Chapel Street. The Chapel Street part of the walk follows the footpath alongside the road. Total distance was almost 9 kms with a total time of almost 2 hours.
Gordon Carmichael Reserve is a 60-hectare reserve located between Bethlehem and Brookfield suburbs in Tauranga. The reserve is used as a stormwater reserve, with ponds and wetlands, extensive areas of native plants, and several kilometres of cycleways and walkways, accessible from several streets in the area. Over 200 metres of boardwalk have been constructed in the wetlands areas. A small carpark is located on Carmichael Road, adjacent to toilets, a playground, and an outdoor classroom. Access to the carpark is closed at night.
Access to the northern end of the reserve off Princess Road has a sign indicating that this is York Park, but there is no indication of the location or extent of the park.
Yatton Park, in Parkvale, Tauranga, was established by John Alfred Chadwick in the 1860s after having bought land confiscated in the wars between Maori and the British. He named the location Yatton Estate, and planted many of the trees still standing in the park. Also known as Tutarawananga it is the location of the first school in New Zealand, established in the 14th century to train tohunga (carriers of knowledge, priests or wise men).
Yatton Park is accessible directly from Fraser Street, and near the entrance there are parking areas and toilets. From Yatton Park a track leads down to the Waimapu Estuary, and along the estuary to Fraser Street by the Fraser Street Reserve. A side track leads up to Esk Street and continues on to Fraser Street by number 330.